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Week 10 NFL Picks



NFL Picks (Week 1, 2008): 11-5 (+$1,470)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2008): 7-7-1 (-$100)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2008): 10-6 (+$860)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2008): 6-7 (-$350)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2008): 8-6 (+$230)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2008): 9-5 (+$2,260)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2008): 4-10 (-$770)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2008): 9-4-1 (+$1,620)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2008): 6-8 (-$980)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.




Vegas betting action updated Nov. 9, 4:45 p.m. ET.


Go to Week 10 NFL Picks - Late Games



Denver Broncos (4-4) at Cleveland Browns (3-5)
Line: Browns by 3. Total: 46.

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Broncos -1.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Broncos -1.
Thursday, 8:15 ET - Buy Tickets

The Game. Edge: Browns.
Injuries: Broncos: OUT: QB Patrick Ramsey (IR), RB Michael Pittman (IR), RB Andre Hall (IR), OT Erik Pears, C Tom Nalen (IR), OLB D.J. Williams, OLB Boss Bailey (IR), CB Champ Bailey, S Marlon McCree. Browns: OUT: WR Joe Jurevicius (IR), OT Ryan Tucker (IR), G Lennie Friedman, DE Robaire Smith (IR), OLB Antwan Peek (IR).

Coming off my second awful week of the season (the first being Week 7). Going 6-8 may not seem "awful," but I lost a 5-unit play on Tampa Bay and three of four 3-unit selections. The only good thing that happened was a successful 4-unit winner with Philadelphia. I can't even blame any backdoor covers this week. My only real gripe is that Matt Schaub got hurt for the Texans, but I had Houston for just one unit. I was more shocked with how spineless some teams in the NFL were. Both Indianapolis and Jacksonville needed victories to keep their season alive, and neither squad performed well. At least the Colts won though; the Jaguars are a complete disgrace. You can't lose to 0-8 Cincinnati in a must-win situation!

Speaking of must-wins, that's the situation the Browns find themselves in right now. At 3-5, they can't afford to lose any more games. I know a lot of other teams are 3-5, but Cleveland was picked by many to claim the AFC North and qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Proving that this is a must-win, Romeo Crennel benched Derek Anderson in favor of Brady Quinn. All I can say is: It's about freaking time! Anderson has a completion of percentage of 49.8 and a YPA of 6.0. Quinn can't possible do any worse, right?

CLEVELAND OFFENSE: What a great opening game for Quinn. The Broncos don't have a devastating pass rush (no one on the team has more than four sacks) and they can't cover the pass because Champ Bailey is out. The only thing that can possibly stop Quinn is Braylon Edwards and his butter fingers. Edwards has 13 drops on the year, including a long fourth-quarter touchdown last week that would have given Cleveland a 34-27 lead. I have to believe Edwards will be more focused on Thursday. I'll get to that later.

Quinn will also have the benefit of Jamal Lewis running hard by his side. Lewis is on a down year - he's averaging 3.6 yards per carry - but even he will find wide-open lanes against Denver's pathetic ground defense, ranked 31st versus the rush.

With Lewis posing as a major threat, Quinn will have all day to throw behind a solid offensive line. He should be able to move the chains with ease.

DENVER OFFENSE: Speaking of moving the chains, that's something the Broncos weren't able to do against the Dolphins, which was surprising to most people, considering that Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal were going against the league's 26th-ranked pass defense.

Cutler struggled mightily, as it was clear that his injured finger hasn't recovered. There were positive reports all week, but when it came down to actually playing, Cutler barely completed 50 percent of his passes and tossed three picks.

It didn't help Cutler that his running game was non-existent. Seriously, Andre Hall led the team in rushing, and he carried the ball only one time for seven yards! Unlike the Dolphins, the Browns struggle versus the run, but it may not matter because both Hall and Michael Pittman have been placed on the IR. Denver has no healthy running backs.

RECAP: This is a great spot for the Browns for a number of reasons.

First, home teams tend to thrive on weeknights because there is so much more electricity in the air and the road squad has to travel on a short week.

Second, the Browns need this game much more than the Broncos do. Denver is still in first place. Cleveland's season is on the line.

Third, with the Anderson benching, management has sent a message to all the players - win now, or you could be benched, traded or even cut. NFL athletes tend to respond to something like this. I don't think the Browns will be any different.


The Psychology. Edge: Browns.
Home teams playing on weeknights usually have a strong mental edge, as there is generally more electricity coming from the drunken crowd. Also, Cleveland's season is on the line. If the Browns lose here, they're done. The Broncos, meanwhile, are still somehow in first place.


The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Cleveland: 55% (100,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Browns.
  • Hometown Hero: Romeo Crennel is 4-0 ATS at home immediately following a home loss.
  • Losing Coach: Mike Shanahan is 1-6 ATS as an underdog immediately following a loss as a favorite.
  • Opening Line: Browns -3.
  • Opening Total: 48.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Browns 27, Broncos 17
    Browns -3 (5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$550
    Under 46 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Broncos 34, Browns 30

    Broncos-Browns Recap



    Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5) at Detroit Lions (0-8)
    Line: Jaguars by 6.5. Total: 43.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Jaguars -7.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Jaguars -6.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Jaguars.
    Injuries: Jaguars: OUT: WR Reggie Williams, G Vince Manuwai (IR), G Maurice Williams (IR), G Chris Naeole (IR). Lions: OUT: QB Jon Kitna (IR), QB Dan Orlovsky, CB Stanley Wilson (IR), S Gerald Alexander (IR).

    Vegas had its fourth consecutive winning week. The books didn't debacle most gamblers, but the public went 3-3 on lop-sided bet games, which is a winning situation for the house because they get the 10-percent juice. Jacksonville disgracefully losing to Cincinnati also broke up a lot of teasers, including my own.

    Speaking of the Jaguars, I was a complete fool to lay 7.5 with them. I'll explain why in my recap. Let's do the matchups first.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Umm... what offense? It was a disgrace that Cedric Benson had more than double the combined rushing yards of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor. The Jaguars were always a grind-it-out team, but they suddenly can't run the ball. In the words of the captain from Zero Wing,: What happen!

    The problem with Jacksonville's offense is that the interior offensive line is so banged up that the team can't open up any running lanes for its stud backs. You can have the best running back in NFL history in your backfield, and it wouldn't matter if the five guys up front can't create any holes.

    The Lions are 29th against the run, so Jacksonville's ground attack has a shot to finally perform well, but keep this in mind: Cleveland is 28th versus the rush and still limited Jones-Drew and Taylor to 53 combined yards on 20 carries. That's an average of 2.7 yards per attempt! That's Rudi Johnson territory!

    Meanwhile, David Garrard has only put together two solid games all year. Those were against the Texans and Broncos, two brutal defensive squads. I know the Lions are right up there, but I just can't trust Garrard, especially if Roger Goodell decides to suspend Matt Jones.

    DETROIT OFFENSE: Poor Lions. Dan Orlovsky finally figures out the dimensions of the field and puts together a solid game, and now he's out for a few weeks.

    The question now is whether Drew Stanton or Daunte Culpepper will start. Does it matter? Neither quarterback can be much worse than Orlovsky. At least Stanton can scramble and Culpepper has a strong arm to get the ball to Calvin Johnson.

    Speaking of Johnson, the Jaguars don't have the personnel to cover Detroit's wideouts. Obvious free-agent bust Drayton Florence has been benched, but that won't help a secondary ranked 20th versus the pass. If lack of talent in the defensive backfield wasn't enough, Jacksonville has just 11 sacks on the year.

    RECAP: Here's why I was a fool to lay 7.5 with the Jaguars: They stink! They haven't even won a game by more than seven points all year, as they're averaging just a four-point margin in their three victories - none of which are against winning teams.

    I've had the Jaguars on my overrated list on the home page of my NFL Picks for a while now. Yes, this is a must-win for them, but they're just not good enough to blow any team out - even crappy foes like Cincinnati or Detroit.

    As for the Lions, they've been playing hard recently. They lost at Minnesota by two. They covered at Houston. They led the Redskins late in the third quarter. And last week, they almost knocked off Chicago. They're playing their hearts out, trying to win their first game of the season. It wouldn't shock me if they accomplished that feat on Sunday.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    Yo, Jaguars! Wake up! Your season is on the line, and you're losing to crappy teams like the Bengals!

    Like the Bengals, Detroit will be playing its heart out to win its first game.


    The Vegas. Edge: Lions.
    People are betting against the Lions? Stop the presses!
  • Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 72% (120,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jaguars.
  • Road Warrior: Coaches are 119-80 ATS on the road following a road loss since 1996 (Jack Del Rio 4-2).
  • Zero Heroes: Teams 0-8 or worse are 12-4 ATS since 2000.
  • Lions are 9-16 ATS vs. AFC opponents since 2001.
  • Lions are 2-8 ATS against losing teams the previous 10 instances.
  • Opening Line: Jaguars -6.
  • Opening Total: 45.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Jaguars 27, Lions 24
    Lions +6.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 43 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Jaguars 38, Lions 14



    Baltimore Ravens (5-3) at Houston Texans (3-5)
    Line: Texans by 1. Total: 43.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Texans -2.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Pick.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.
    Injuries: Ravens: OUT: QB Kyle Boller (IR), WR Demetrius Williams (IR), TE Quinn "Miracle Man" Sypniewski (IR), OT Marshal Yanda (IR), OT Adam Terry, DT Kelly Gregg (IR), DT Dwan Edwards (IR), ILB Tavares Gooden (IR), ILB Prescott Burgess (IR). Texans: OUT: QB Matt Schaub*, RB Chris Brown (IR), RB Chris Taylor (IR), G Fred Weary (IR), CB Jimmy Williams (IR), S C.C. Brown, KR Andre Davis.

    This game pisses me off. I compiled a nice write-up about this Ravens-Texans battle in Week 2, only to see the contest postponed because of some stupid hurricane. Why couldn't Baltimore and Houston play in the hurricane? What is this, baseball? I don't see the problem here. Winds at 100 miles an hour... heavy rain... ceiling tiles flying down on to the field... it's only natural, right? If both teams are at the same disadvantage, I really don't see the harm.

    If it sounds like I'm mad just because I have to do this write-up all over again, you're damn right. I'd like to petition Roger Goodell to not postpone any more games. I don't care if there's a nuclear meltdown, an alien invasion or a huge meteor heading toward Earth. Keep the games going! Just once, I'd like to write, "Weather: Meteor Shower, 250 degrees. Tornado, 120 mph."

    Not to waste any more time - or maybe I should so I can sue the NFL for giving me Carpal Tunnel - let's delve right into the matchups.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: In Week 2, Matt Schaub had the challenge of coming off an ugly loss to Pittsbrugh and playing a tough Ravens defense. Well, Baltimore's secondary is so devastated by injuries, you can't say it's much of a challenge anymore - though it'll be Sage Rosenfels at quarterback; not Schaub.

    Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle and Dawan Landry are all hurt, so I don't see how Baltimore can cover all of Houston's weapons, especially Andre Johnson, the league's leading receiver. Rosenchoker may be infamous for his horrific fourth-quarter performance against the Colts, but he's done extremely well otherwise; Rosenchoker has a completion percentage of 67.7 and a YPA of 7.6 - both numbers being just a hair short of Schaub's. If you take away Rosenchoker's meltdown, he and Schaub have been the same quarterback.

    Steve Slaton won't get anything on the ground against the league's top-ranked rush defense, but he'll still provide a threat out of the backfield - just something else Baltimore's banged-up defense has to worry about.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: Joe Flacco's improvement has been remarkable. In the first six weeks of the season, Flacco was responsible for seven interceptions, five fumbles and only one touchdown. But in the past three games, he hasn't tossed a pick and has fumbled only once. Best of all, he has five touchdowns and two 230-yard performances.

    Flacco's improved play will work to Baltimore's advantage in this contest, as Houston's pitiful secondary is 30th versus the pass. The Texans made Gus Frerotte look like the best quarterback of all time on Sunday, so Flacco shouldn't have a problem torching their defensive backfield.

    Flacco will also have the help of his running game once again. It's unclear whether Ray Rice or Willis McGahee will shoulder most of the workload, but both backs should have success against Houston's 19th-ranked rush defense.

    RECAP: It looks like this is a pretty evenly matched game, as the spread would indicate. Baltimore is slightly better all around, but Houston is at home.

    One strong edge the Texans have in this contest is that this game means much more to them. With a win, they could potentially move just one game out of a wildcard spot. Meanwhile, the Ravens are coming off a tough road victory at Cleveland and have the Giants up next. I'm not sure they'll be completely focused for a "weak" Houston squad.

    Fading the public is another reason I believe that Houston is a solid play. Taking the "superior" underdog Baltimore to simply win outright seems like a no-brainer to most casual bettors.


    The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
    Definite Sandwich Situation for the Ravens, who may be looking past the Texans. Baltimore is coming off a tough road win at Cleveland. In Week 11, the team battles the Giants at the Meadowlands. How are they going to get up for the lowly Texans?


    The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
    The Ravens are a hot team, which is why they're getting a lot of the action.
  • Percentage of money on Baltimore: 70% (98,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Ravens are 19-12 ATS in November.
  • Ravens are 14-21 ATS as an underdog the previous 35 instances (4-2 with John Harbaugh).
  • Ravens are 3-9 ATS on the road since 2007.
  • Texans are 8-4 ATS in November home games.
  • Opening Line: Texans -2.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Retractable Roof.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Texans 24, Ravens 16
    Texans +1 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Under 43 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Ravens 41, Texans 13





    Seattle Seahawks (2-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)
    Line: Dolphins by 8. Total: 42.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Dolphins -6.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Dolphins -7.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Dolphins.
    Injuries: Seahawks: OUT: WR Deion Branch*, WR Nate Burleson (IR), WR Ben Obomanu (IR), WR Logan Payne (IR), G Rob Sims (IR). Dolphins: OUT: G Donald Thomas (IR), CB Michael Lehan (IR).

    This is a sad moment for me. This happens to be Mike Holmgren's final early game on the East Coast. If you've been following my NFL Trends, particularly the Early-Game Alert, you know that Holmgren is absolutely abysmal when he travels across the country and has to play at 1 p.m. Eastern.

    In honor of this occasion, I've prepared something:

    Ode to Mike Holmgren:

    Farewell, great Mike Holmgren, you shall be missed
    If Mora can win out East, I'll be pissed

    Your struggles cross country on the Atlantic, no one can compare
    And that is why your retirement is causing me great despair

    Oh, Mike Holmgren, no one is more upset of your departure than me
    In the NFL, only Andy Reid happens to be larger than thee

    With you gone, many NFL bets I will lose
    I may have to resort to drinking tons of booze

    I'm seriously crying right now. Let's get to the matchups before my tears ruuiinnn meyymym keeeyybbbbooooaerrdddssdd.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: Speaking of tears, Seahawks fans have to be really depressed with how this once-promising season has turned out. First, all of the receivers were hurt. Then, Matt Hasselbeck further injured his back. After Charlie Frye debacled a start, Seneca Wallace has been slightly less ineffective. Seriously, Wallace's 5.8 YPA and inability to scramble are disheartening.

    Wallace can't get anything downfield, which allows opposing defenses to play closer to the line of scrimmage and focus on stopping the run. Julius Jones and Maurice Morris haven't done anything note-worthy in weeks, and will continue to struggle, especially against a Miami defense ranked sixth against the run.

    Wallace's short junk passes may move the chains on occasion, given that Miami's secondary sucks, but it won't be enough for the Seahawks to consistently score. The Dolphins just bring way too much pressure off the edge with Joey Porter and Matt Roth.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: The Seahawks' defense played well in the first quarter last week, as they contained Brian Westbrook on the ground and forced Donovan McNabb into several three-and-outs. However, that was more McNabb's fault than anything, as the streaky quarterback was guilty of staring down Kevin Curtis in double coverage like a leering drunk.

    McNabb finally began spreading the ball around, which is when Philadelphia's offense took control. Chad Pennington has a weak arm, but he's accurate on short throws and knows how to spread the wealth around to numerous targets. He torched Denver's abysmal, Champ Bailey-less secondary for 281 yards, and should have similar results here; the Seahawks' defensive backfield is a train wreck.

    RECAP: I would be a hypocrite to not lay a billion units on Miami in the wake of that ode to Holmgren I posted in my lead. Holmgren is a very good coach, but he's extremely stubborn, and his method of preparing his team for early East Coast games clearly hasn't worked.

    The red-hot Dolphins should own the pathetic Seahawks anyway, so let's go with a 5-unit play on this momentous occasion.


    The Psychology. Edge: Dolphins.
    The Seahawks are playing tough, but they won't catch the Dolphins off-guard. Miami is in last place.


    The Vegas. Edge: Seahawks.
    People want to fade the Seahawks, but this line is high.
  • Percentage of money on Miami: 69% (132,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • Early Game Alert: Pacific Teams playing on the Atlantic Coast at 1:00 PM are 24-44 ATS since 2002 (Mike Holmgren 2-12).
  • Seahawks are 8-14 ATS on the road since 2006.
  • Chad Pennington is 15-8 ATS as a home favorite.
  • Opening Line: Dolphins -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 43.5.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees. Mild wind, 13 mph.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Dolphins 34, Seahawks 17
    Dolphins -8 (5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$550
    Over 42.5 (.5 Units) -- Incorrect; -$55
    Survivor Pick (7-2)
    Dolphins 21, Seahawks 19



    Tennessee Titans (8-0) at Chicago Bears (5-3)
    Line: Titans by 3. Total: 37.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Titans -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Titans -4.5.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Titans.
    Injuries: Bears: OUT: QB Kyle Orton*, CB Zackary Bowman (IR), S Brandon McGowan (IR).

    Some college football notes:

    1. I was watching Tennessee-South Carolina before the Texas-Texas Tech game came on, and I managed to capture some brilliance from color commentator Bob Davie. When he was asked, "How is it for a quarterback playing for a Heisman winner like Steve Spurrier?" Davie called it a great situation and went on a 5-minute rant about how great a quarterback coach Spurrier is. Umm... I guess Davie is senile and forgot about all the quarterbacks Spurrier has benched over the years and failed to prepare for the NFL. Yeah, all those guys really benefited from him. If by "good situation," Davie meant that all of those failed quarterbacks are currently crying themselves to sleep every night, then Davie is correct.

    2. More Bob Davie! Davie harped about Tennessee being 3-5 and needing three straight victories to put themselves in a bowl situation. Yeah, that's great. Maybe the Vols can save their season and qualify for the Primatech Paper Bowl or even the Pinehearst Research Facility Bowl! Those bowls (a.k.a. winter practice games) are chock full of tradition. And hey, it could be fun watching the Giant Pumpkin coach one last game in his XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL creamsicle-colored shirt.

    3. Let's go with someone a lot older than Davie. A LOT OLDER. I'm talking 500 years older. Someone needs to tell the old geezer who likes to call himself Lou Holtz that Missouri's quarterback is Chase Daniel; not Chase Daniels. It seems like ESPN keeps clowns like Holtz on the air just to piss us off.

    Speaking of being pissed off, how does it feel to be a Bears fan right now? They finally find a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, and what happens? He goes down with an injury and is now out for about a month.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: But have no fear, Rex Grossman is here! Tennessee's defense has to be licking its chops. Grossman is renowned for his interceptions and fumbles. The Titans, who have the ability to take the run away - they're 11th against it - should be able to force Grossman into tons of long-yardage situations. They'll tee off on the erratic quarterback, forcing him to loft a few picks into a very opportunistic secondary.

    Well, that's what everyone thinks is going to happen anyway. Throwing his performance against the Lions out the window - Grossman didn't have any snaps during the week, so looking at that game would be unfair - and you'll see that Grossman had just one interception in his previous four starts (all in 2007). Grossman was playing extremely well last season before getting hurt at Washington and missing the final four games of the year.

    As long as Grossman can hang on to the football, the Bears will have a shot to win. If he has a few turnovers, it could end quickly.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: I was amazed at how well the Packers played the run last week. Take away a fluke 54-yard burst by LenDale White, and he and Chris Johnson were held to 112 rushing yards on 31 carries - which is just 3.6 yards per attempt.

    Now consider that Green Bay is just 27th versus the run. The Bears, who are eighth against it, have the personnel to contain Johnson and White without keeping eight men in the box at all times. This will allow them to play the pass more efficiently.

    Actually, here's something interesting. All of the teams Tennessee has played this year have sucked against the rush, with the exception of Baltimore and Minnesota. The Ravens contest was a 3-point game, while the Vikings matchup was an easy win because Gus Frerotte self-destructed. Like I said, it's all about Grossman taking care of the ball.

    RECAP: There's a very good system out there that says if a good team loses its best player and is an underdog or a short favorite in its first game without him, that team usually prevails. Look at Brad Johnson beating the Buccaneers, or the Jaguars and Quinn Gray defeating the playoff-bound Buccaneers last year for proof.

    Why is this? Without their top player - and Orton was certainly playing like one - every single member of the Bears knows that if 110 percent isn't brought to the table, the Titans will win. Every Chicago player will bring something extra to this contest, while Tennessee could be a bit lackadaisical, knowing that Grossman sucks at life.

    If that's not enough, fading the public at a ridiculous percentage should be easy enough. More than 90 percent of all bettors are looking at this and saying, "Wow, all the Titans need to do is beat Grossman by three? That's easy!"

    If betting were that easy, every sportsbook would be out of business. I wouldn't recommend betting the farm on Grossman, but I like Chicago.


    The Psychology. Edge: Bears.
    Looking for the Bears to bring 110 percent to the table with Kyle Orton out. Everyone on the team knows they'll have to try their hardest to win without their starting quarterback.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bears.
    Everyone is fading Rex Grossman and pounding the Titans at a short price. No surprise here.
  • Percentage of money on Tennessee: 71% (155,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Bears are 17-6 ATS in November since 2001.
  • Bears are 4-7 ATS as a favorite since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Titans -3.
  • Opening Total: 39.5.
  • Weather: Possible rain/snow showers, 41 degrees. Mild wind, 15 mph.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Bears 17, Titans 16
    Bears +3 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Under 37.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Titans 21, Bears 14





    New Orleans Saints (4-4) at Atlanta Falcons (5-3)
    Line: Falcons by 1. Total: 50.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Falcons -1.5.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Falcons -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: None.
    Injuries: Saints: OUT: TE Jeremy Shockey, DE Charles Grant (IR), DT DeMario Pressley (IR), ILB Mark Simoneau (IR), CB Tracy Porter (IR), K Martin Gramatica (IR). Falcons: OUT: OT Sam Baker, CB Von Hutchins (IR).

    More college football notes:

    4. Call me a homer all you want because I am. I graduated Penn State a few years ago. I don't understand how Texas Tech can leap over Penn State with just one impressive victory. Sure, they beat the No. 1 team in the country, but they did that at home, under the lights and in front of an emotional crowd. Penn State went on the road to Columbus and beat an Ohio State team that was a national contender before it lost to USC without its best player.

    If Texas Tech finishes the season with a flawless record, which would mean a win at Oklahoma, the Red Raiders deserve to be ranked ahead of the Nittany Lions. But until they do that, Penn State should be No. 2.

    I know journalists aren't supposed to call anything to action, but I make fun of fat coaches for a living, so I wouldn't consider myself an ordinary journalist. All Penn State alumni, students, professors and fans: If the Nittany Lions finish with an undefeated record and aren't invited to the Final Winter Practice Game, let's band together and file an enormous lawsuit against the NCAA. I didn't include "Penn State president" in that rant because Graham Cocker Spanier is as greedy and selfish as he is ugly. Told you I'm not a real journalist!

    To go totally off-topic, I can't believe how well Matt Ryan has played this year. It's completely ridiculous. Rookie quarterbacks are supposed to throw interceptions, fumble the ball away and look more confused than Emmitt Smith when he's trying to figure out whether to say "blown out" or "blowed out." Since starting 2-2, Ryan has thrown for 992 yards, seven touchdowns and just two picks in the past four games. Even more impressive are his YPA (8.1) and completion percentage (63.9) during this stretch.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: If Ryan can burn the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Charles Woodson, imagine what he'll be able to do against a secondary comprised of bums like Jason David, Josh Bullocks and Kevin Kaesviharn. The Saints had a solid cornerbacking duo in Mike McKenzie and Tracy Porter, but the latter suffered a season-ending injury about a month ago. The Saints are 17th against the pass, but are getting worse every week.

    Thanks to multiple injuries on the defensive line and an unimpressive linebacking corps, New Orleans also happens to be weak versus the run (20th). Michael Turner has trampled porous ground defenses all year - he has four 100-yard performances - so his effective running will open up play-action for Ryan.

    Speaking of injuries, Saints defensive end Charles Grant is out for the year. All Grant has done all year is lead the team in sacks. Without a pass rush, New Orleans won't be able to rattle Matt Ryan. I don't see how the Saints can stop Atlanta's offense.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: There haven't been many defenses who have been able to contain New Orleans' offense this season, so don't expect the Falcons to pitch another shutout or anything.

    Actually, Atlanta's defense matches up relatively well here. The Falcons' weakness is against the run (26th), but the Saints don't move the ball efficiently on the ground. Meanwhile, John Abraham knows how to put consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, making life easy for a pair of young but talented corners.

    The thing is, Drew Brees and his myriad of weapons are just impossible to stop. Throw out a fluke loss at Carolina, and the Saints have scored at least 24 points in every game this year.

    RECAP: This is too tough to call because the last team to have possession could very well win the game.

    Three things: First, every matchup in this NFC South round robin has gone to the host. Why wouldn't that continue? Second, the Falcons have the running game to keep Brees and company off the field. The Saints don't have that to neutralize Ryan. And third, fading the public is never a terrible idea.


    The Psychology. Edge: Saints.
    Big game for both teams, but it means more to the Saints, who need a victory to get out of last place.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on New Orleans: 54% (130,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Saints.
  • History: Saints have won the last 4 meetings.
  • Bye Bye: Sean Payton is 0-2 ATS after a bye.
  • Saints are 40-28 ATS on the road since 2000.
  • Drew Brees is 9-4 ATS as a road favorite.
  • Opening Line: Falcons -1.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Falcons 26, Saints 23
    Falcons -1 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 50 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Falcons 34, Saints 20







    Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (4-4)
    Line: Vikings by 2.5. Total: 44.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Vikings -1.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Vikings -1.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Packers.
    Injuries: Packers: OUT: DT Justin Harrell, CB Al Harris. Vikings: OUT: DE Kenechi Udeze (IR), DT Kendrick Allen (IR), ILB E.J. Henderson S Madieu Williams, S Michael Boulware (IR). DOUBTFUL: DE Jared Allen.

    More quotes to be featured in the upcoming Emmitt Anthology: Volume 2. Here's a link to the original Emmitt Anthology.

    1. "Today I'm goin with Mr... Mo... Mr... Mg... Monte Kiffin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers." (Commentary: I'm going out on a limb and saying that Emmitt learned his grammar from Porky Pig.)

    2. "Matt Hassel start this week." (Commentary: Matt Hasselbeck? Matt Cassel? Or was Emmitt cutting corners and referring to both?)

    3. "These guys have their hands full completely today because Justin Tuck and Math... Mathias Kianokee are coming. These guys... Keanoka... Iím sorry. Mathias Keanoka. (Commentary: Give Emmitt a damn raise, already!)

    I saved the Emmitt quotes for this game because I have no idea where to go in terms of a pick. I'll give you my conundrum in the recap.

    GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Despite injuring his shoulder on Sept. 28, Aaron Rodgers has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL since the beginning of October. In his previous four contests, Rodgers has 1,021 yards, seven touchdowns and two picks. He completed more than 67 percent of his passes in three of those games, the lone exception being last week against Tennessee's vaunted defense.

    Minnesota can't stop the pass. The Vikings are 21st against it, as they've given up tons of yardage recently to Sage Rosenchoker, Kyle Orton and Drew Brees. With Rodgers torching every secondary in his path, Minnesota doesn't stand a chance against him and his talented wideouts.

    The Vikings stop the run well, ranking fourth against it, so don't expect much from Ryan Grant. However, it should be noted that Grant tallied 86 yards on just 20 carries against the Titans, who also have a very formidable rush defense. If you own Grant in a fantasy league, don't be discouraged by a poor performance here; he will rebound.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: Definitely the polar opposite of Green Bay's offense, the Vikings run the ball better than almost anyone, but have trouble getting the ball downfield.

    On paper, Adrian Peterson should have a big day bulldozing Green Bay's 27th-ranked rush defense. However, the Packers limited Chris Johnson and LenDale White to just 3.6 yards per attempt if you take away a fluke 54-yard burst by White. Green Bay placed eight men in the box, coaxing Kerry Collins to beat them. The plan worked, as Tennessee scored just 19 points amid Collins' struggles.

    The Packers will once again load up versus the run and give up the deep ball to Gus Frerotte. Houston employed the same strategy, but was unsuccessful in doing so. However, Green Bay, unlike the Texans, have the secondary to cover Bernard Berrian and the rest of Frerotte's lackluster weapons.

    RECAP: There is no doubt in my mind that the Packers are the better team. So, why am I struggling with this selection?

    Simple - the line is just too shady. The Vikings are favored? Really? Everyone and their ugly stepmother is betting on the Packers as a live underdog.

    I'm tempting to fade the public, but I just can't do it. Rodgers over Frerotte is a no-brainer, but most of all, you have to love Mike McCarthy over Brad Childress. Brad Clueless, as Childress is known on this Web site, has never beaten the Packers, and given his inept coaching ability, I can't see him doing so, barring a major injury to Green Bay in this game.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    Huge game. The winner keeps up with the Bears in the NFC North. The loser is way outside looking in.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Odd that after backing the Packers heavily, the action is more equal now.
  • Percentage of money on Green Bay: 55% (127,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • History: Packers have won the last 5 meetings.
  • Road Warrior: Coaches are 119-80 ATS on the road following a road loss since 1996 (Mike McCarthy 1-0).
  • Opening Line: Vikings -1.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Packers 27, Vikings 24
    Packers +2.5 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Over 44.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Vikings 28, Packers 27





    St. Louis Rams (2-6) at New York Jets (5-3)
    Line: Jets by 9. Total: 43.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Jets -7.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Jets -9.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Jets.
    Injuries: Rams: OUT: RB Antonio Pittman, FB Brian Leonard (IR), WR Drew Bennett (IR), TE Randy McMichael (IR), OT Brandon Gorin (IR), G Mark Setterstrom (IR), CB Justin King (IR), CB Ricky Manning Jr. (IR), KR Dante Hall (IR). QUESTIONABLE: RB Steven Jackson*. Jets: OUT: RB Jesse Chatman (IR), ILB Brad Kassell (IR).

    Only one person lost this week, so there are only FOUR people remaining in the WalterFootball.com $350 Survivor Pool. I'll continue to offer my advice for those who want it, and others who have entered in a new Survivor Contest.

    Sadly, no Heroes this week (stupid election!), so let me use this space to recommend another great show. Definitely go out and buy Prison Break if you haven't seen it. It's freaking awesome. In fact, it's too awesome. It'll have you glued to your TV screen. Trust me. In August, I had a stomach virus for a few days, so I couldn't do anything. I bought Prison Break because I always thought it looked cool. Well, I began watching it, and I was immediately hooked. I went through the entire first season in four days!

    Brett Favre has definitely had football fans hooked this season. By that, I mean Favre's outings are always interesting because he keeps both teams in the game. Favre is fully capable of throwing seven touchdowns one week and then five pick-sixes the next. Favre lofted a pick-six in the Buffalo game, which was really ridiculous because the Jets were up 23-10 in the fourth quarter. Why did Favre heave a ball up for grabs when the game was seemingly in hand? Because that's what he does!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: There's no reason to expect anything different from Favre, even though the Rams' defense sucks. Thanks to St. Louis' awful secondary and inconsistent pass rush, the team is 31st versus the pass. In theory, Favre should be able connect on all sorts of throws to Laveranues Coles, Jerrich Cotchery and O.J. Atogwe all afternoon.

    Meanwhile, Favre could always hand off to Thomas Jones, who won't meet any resistance from a 30th-ranked Rams rush defense that surrendered more than 100 yards to Tim Hightower. But that's if the Jets run the ball. Favre is wild and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer doesn't know what he's doing, so Favre could be launching deep passes even if he's up 30.

    However, I'll reiterate what I wrote earlier. Favre keeps both teams in the game. Just look at the Chiefs contest two weeks ago - the Jets should have debacled Kansas City by double digits, but a Favre pick-six allowed the Chiefs to hang around.

    ST. LOUIS OFFENSE: Marc Bulger, usually calm and collected, lashed out at the media for saying that he was responsible for the loss to Arizona. Poor Bulger. He's been hit in the head so many times, he doesn't remember what happened in that game. Bulger was definitely the main culprit, as he threw an interception into double coverage off his back foot despite being up 7-0. The next possession, Bulger fumbled the ball away, setting up another Arizona score.

    I'd also like to give Steven Jackson some blame. I know he was hurt, but that was precisely the reason why the Rams struggled. Because Jackson proclaimed on his Web site that he would start, Jim Haslett believed his star runner was good to go. He wasn't. Jackson gained just 17 yards on seven carries, prompting Haslett to state that Jackson won't play unless he practices.

    Whoever starts at running back for the Rams won't have much success. Thanks to Kris Jenkins, the Jets are second versus the rush. Bulger will have to beat the Jets with Torry Holt and Donnie Avery, which is entirely possible; both JaMarcus Russell and Tyler Thigpen thrived against New York's secondary.

    RECAP: This is a terrible spot for the Jets. They just won a tough, divisional road game at Buffalo as a moderately sized underdog. Just four days after this contest, they take on arch rival New England on the road. How can New York possibly get up for this contest?

    The Rams, who are playing under Jim Haslett, look like a very nice play here, especially when you consider Favre's tendency to keep both teams in the game.

    SURVIVOR ANALYSIS: The Jets are a big favorite, which is why I put the Survivor lead here. However, because this is such a poor spot for them, and because many of you took the Jets against the Chiefs, I'm going with the Dolphins over the Seahawks.


    The Psychology. Edge: Rams.
    Definite Sandwich Situation for the Jets. They just had one of their two big AFC East games, beating the Bills in Orchard Park. After this "easy win," they have the Patriots on Thursday night. I can't see them getting up for this game.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on St. Louis: 54% (130,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • Rams are 18-33 ATS in road games since 2001.
  • Rams are 11-22 ATS on grass since 2001.
  • Opening Line: Jets -9.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Sunny, 56 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Jets 16, Rams 14
    Rams +9 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
    Under 43.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Jets 47, Rams 3



    Buffalo Bills (5-3) at New England Patriots (5-3)
    Line: Patriots by 3.5. Total: 41.5.

    Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 9): Patriots -3.
    Walt's Projected Line (After Week 9): Patriots -3.
    Sunday, 1:00 ET - Buy Tickets

    The Game. Edge: Bills.
    Injuries: Bills: OUT: DE Aaron Schobel, OLB Angelo Crowell (IR), ILB John DiGiorgio (IR), CB Ashton Youboty (IR). Patriots: OUT: QB Tom Brady (IR), RB Laurence Maroney (IR), OT Ryan O'Callaghan (IR), OT Oliver Ross, OT Anthony Clement (IR), G Stephen Neal, S Rodney Harrison (IR), S Tank Williams (IR).

    The ninth installment of the new Emmitt Smith feature will be up on FRIDAY! The year is 2013. Coming off a Week 1 victory, the Patriots get into trouble for Sypgate II. Roger Goodell orders the team to replace Bill Belichick with Emmitt.

    Week 2: Emmitt wins his first game against the Falcons, 11-4, despite major confusion and thanks in part to a Michael Vick arrest. Week 3: Something interesting happens to the Bengals, Emmitt screws up again and a key Patriot is lost for the year. Week 4: The Lions-Patriots contest gets moved to Detroit. Find out why, and discover who the new GM of the Lions is. Week 5: Herm Edwards screws up in the battle of the unbeatens! Week 6: Dennis Green blows a record lead and has to be taken to the mental hospital! In Week 7, Al Davis finds proof that Emmitt and Green conspired to lose on purpose. Week 8: Roger Goodell cancels all games for a mysterious reason.

    Now, in Week 9, a steroids scandal rocks Foxborough! Find out what happened on Friday! Each week, I'll follow the 2013 Patriots from a newspaper reporter's perspective. Get ready for 2013: Emmitt on the Brink!

    I wasn't confident the Bills would cover against the Jets. They were a big favorite expected to beat a struggling New York squad. Because Buffalo is so inexperienced, accomplishing that feat was too much to ask.

    This is a better spot for the Bills, going on the road as an underdog against an overrated Patriots squad.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: So, what makes New England so overrated? Well, their entire back eight is slow and can't cover anyone. Peyton Manning, who has struggled all year, was nearly flawless against the Patriots on Sunday night. Trent Edwards will be able to throw all over New England's secondary, as Lee Evans' speed will cause problems for a very archaic defense.

    Marshawn Lynch really struggled against the Jets, mustering just 16 yards on nine carries. I don't expect Lynch to snap out of his funk; he apparently has the flu and the Patriots haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 3. New England's defensive strength is up front, and you can see it by that statistic.

    With Lynch reeling, I expect the Bills to use Fred Jackson more. The quicker Jackson is a better matchup against the Patriots anyway, especially coming out of the backfield.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Another reason New England is overrated is because of Matt Cassel. Sure, Cassel is doing a fine job taking care of the football, but he can't get the ball downfield. All of his throws are short, Chad Pennington-like junk passes. Luckily, Cassel has Randy Moss and Wes Welker split out wide, so they're making him look much better than he really is.

    After struggling versus San Diego, Cassel has thrived the past three weeks. Why is that? The answer is obvious - his three opponents, Denver, St. Louis and Indianapolis, are all completely inept against the run. All three of those teams had to sell out to stop Sammy Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Kevin Faulk, Antowain Smith, Corey Dillon and whomever else the Patriots have lining up in the backfield.

    The Bills won't have to do that because of Marcus Stroud. Stroud's presence has helped Buffalo's defensive unit limit opposing rushers to just 3.8 yards per carry (whereas the Broncos, Rams and Colts allow 5.4, 5.2 and 4.3, respectively). With Cassel stuck in long-yardage situations, he won't have as much luck moving the chains this week.

    RECAP: Though the Patriots are favored by four, I'll continue to contest that the Bills are the superior team. This is a great spot for them because they're "not supposed to win," so there won't be any pressure on them like there was last week.

    Speaking of the spread, why is it only four? Based on New England's impressive run the past three weeks, and Buffalo's losses to the Jets and Dolphins, public perception is that the Patriots are vastly superior. If Vegas wanted equal action on this game, the line would have been six or seven. Instead, it's a low four, indicating that the house wants as much money on New England as possible.

    I'll buy the Bills low and sell the Patriots high. Buffalo wins outright and seizes control of the AFC East.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    I don't need to tell you that this is a big game for both teams.


    The Vegas. Edge: Bills.
    No surprise that the public is fading the Bills this week.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 77% (144,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • History: Patriots have won 14 of the last 15 meetings.
  • Losing Coach: Dick Jauron is 0-3 ATS as an underdog immediately after losing as a favorite.
  • Bills are 15-10 ATS as a dog under Dick Jauron.
  • Patriots are 25-12 ATS vs. AFC East opponents since 2001.
  • Patriots are 39-30 ATS at home under Bill Belichick.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -4.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 58 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.


    Week 10 NFL Pick: Bills 17, Patriots 13
    Bills +3.5 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
    Under 41.5 (.5 Units) -- Correct; +$50
    Patriots 20, Bills 10



    Week 10 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Panthers at Raiders, Colts at Steelers, Chiefs at Chargers, Giants at Eagles, 49ers at Cardinals





    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenver winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.


  • Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 10 NFL Picks - Late Games



    2009 NFL Mock Draft


    2010 NFL Mock Draft


    2009 NFL Mock Draft Database


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    1 Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 15, 2014): 6-9-1 (-$1,380)
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    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

    Cowboys: 5-9
    Bears: 7-7
    Bucs: 8-6
    49ers: 6-7
    Eagles: 9-5
    Lions: 5-8
    Falcons: 6-8
    Cardinals: 7-7
    Giants: 4-10
    Packers: 9-4
    Panthers: 5-9
    Rams: 6-8
    Redskins: 8-6
    Vikings: 11-3
    Saints: 5-8
    Seahawks: 7-7
    Bills: 6-8
    Bengals: 5-10
    Colts: 6-7
    Broncos: 7-7
    Dolphins: 9-4
    Browns: 7-5
    Jaguars: 8-6
    Chargers: 5-9
    Jets: 7-7
    Ravens: 6-8
    Texans: 6-7
    Chiefs: 8-5
    Patriots: 7-7
    Steelers: 7-7
    Titans: 6-6
    Raiders: 5-9
    Divisional: 31-37 (2011-13: 141-137)
    2x Game Edge: 11-16 (2011-13: 55-62)
    2x Psych Edge: 23-21 (2011-13: 92-80)
    2x Vegas Edge: 39-39 (2011-13: 129-142)
    2x Trend Edge: 29-15 (2011-13: 72-78)
    Double Edge: 13-11 (2011-13: 27-33)
    Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 0-0)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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